Jun 14, 2011

3 Ways to Demonstrate Your Brand is Better

You can have the best product in the world, but if you’re customers don’t recognize its quality they won’t value it.

During the 1970’s Chivas Regal was a struggling brand. It claimed to be a premium whisky, but it was largely indistinguishable from its competitors. To help break out of their funk, the Chivas Regal team hired a consultant to diagnose their issues. He came back with just two recommendations: change your label and raise the price per bottle by 20%. He argued that consumers would view a higher price as a sign of quality. The strategy worked, and their sales took off.

It’s not enough to have the best product or service in your industry. Your customers have to believe it too. There are 3 ways you can convince your customers that your brand is better.

1. Tell them

If you don’t blow your own horn, nobody will. Tell your customers how you’re better.

The operative word here is “how.” Customers are used to hearing companies puff themselves up, and make unsubstantiated claims of being the best. It’s not about stating you are the best, it’s about explaining how and why.

Explain your process. Discuss why you do what you do. Tell your story so customers understand how you deliver a superior product or service, and why they should care.

2. Show them

Quality is largely a perceived value. Most people are short of time, and are not willing to do the research to truly understand what makes one product better from another.

To short circuit the process, customers look for external signs to indicate a product’s quality. Car buyers slam doors and kick tires to make sure the car “feels” solid. Other consumers look to price as an indicator of quality – as we discussed in the Chivas Regal example.

The buying process is an excellent time to demonstrate quality. Your customers’ experiences with your staff, the product, your office, your website and every other touch point all help to shape their opinion. The more you can craft a positive buying experience, the more it will lead your customers to believe you have a higher quality offering.

3. Back up your claims

Put your money where your mouth is. Give your customers a guarantee.

Guarantees come in many forms. Zappos.com offers a 365 day return policy with free shipping both ways. Domino’s Pizza built its reputation on promising to deliver their pizzas in “30 minutes, or it’s free.” Recruiters offer replacement guarantees. If the person you hire doesn’t work out, the recruiter will find you an equivalent replacement at no charge.

For a guarantee to be effective it must be unconditional, easy to understand, easy to invoke and meaningful. With a little creativity, you can always find ways to back up your claims and prove you have the best brand in your industry.

What makes you the best?

What’s your story? What are you doing to stand out and demonstrate your brand is the best in your industry?

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